Finally got to try out the new "small plates" place from Jean George (sidenote: the small plates were, IMO, not that small!) and completely enjoyed it, close to great but an end of dinner glitch prevents me from saying it was perfect.
Started with a signature Margarita (Basil Jalapeno - yum) and GF had the hibiscus sangria (too much fruit but the drink part was very good). After that we had a hard time narrowing down what food to get because the vast majority of menu items all sounded wonderful (GF is was a littel more restricted due to her being a vegetarian). We decided on splitting the spring pea guacamole (this is a must get for the table, guac with the bonus of bright spring peas), GF also ordered patatas bravas (nice and crisp on the outside, hot and moist inside with a great dipping sauce, also very shareable - suffice it to say everything, with the excpetion of the rice dish I had, could be easily shared), she also had the spring pea empanadas with a chili yogurt dipping sauce that had a wonderful spicy slow burn kick to it, the crust of the empanada was outstanding, her last item was the grilled asparagus, nice and rustic, great grilled flavor. I had the shaved fluke with green chili dressing, a very generous portion, had a ceviche kind of quality as opposed to say sushi, I really enjoyed this dish, the cruchy rice added a great texture to the silky fish, I also had the beef "burnt ends" with chimichurri sauce, close contest against the fluke but this was the winning dish for me. Again, very generous portion, the meat was so tender and delishious it was OOTW good, the crisp and charred, every bite was like a small perfectly cooked steak, and the sauce had some good heat to it and really complimented the dish, I can't imagine not getting this dish again when we go back. Last item was half portion of the lobster rice, the lobster was perfectly cooked and there was plenty of it, I was okay with the rice but the flavors in it almost overpowered the lobster. No dessert, too full.
The space is really nice, I liked it more than ABC Kitchen (which you can see through the window wall), dim lighting, a nice energetic vibe when the place fills up, super casual.
Pacing was good through out the evening until the very end when it came time to get the check and then it felt like we were ignored (this is a pet peeve of mine), when I finally got the check it then took a while for them to take my card eventhough I was willing for them to take it right away, it was a drop and run : ). So except for this one hiccup (which may not be a hiccup. maybe they want people to know they aren't rushed?) it was a great evening and was a good value, for all the food I described and two cocktails and two beers, before tip it was $165.
Would absolutely return (there is a lot left to explore on the menu).
Was at ABC Cocina this past Fri. night and liked the food too but found the service terrible. Rushed by waitress to order, first appetizer of fluke crudo brought to table immediately after ordering and before complimentary roasted chickpeas and bread appeared which we had to ask for. Wine overpoured and too frequent--maybe it was just our waitress but I'll think twice before returning.
I think it was 31 days before that I called--not easy to get a res.